Photography has been there in the past, but nowadays, it’s more digital. However, documentary photography is more profound. It involves taking a picture and preserving it in its actual nature. Anyone can make documentary photography, so long as they are passionate. All one needs is a camera and techniques to take photographs of anything or anyone and store them. Again, the pictures captured should be clear for people to understand what the images are portraying.
What is Documentary Photography?
This is the art of capturing events that are either historical, cultural, social, or political. These pictures can then take the world by storm or make people understand more about the world. In the past, documentary photography that became groundbreaking includes the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth covered by Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Great Depression on the American Citizens in the United States covered by Dorothea Lange.
Other photographers include Robert Capa, Lewis Hine, and Walker Evans. Despite the photography they captured been natural, it was always considered taboo. This is because most documentary photography reveals events that those in power needed to remain as secrets, especially in politics. However, they continued taking photography and documented how the political and social lives were in those past years.
Documentary photography is detailed and helps those watching these pictures to understand everything vividly. It also helps to understand various cultures in many communities all over the globe. It portrays a powerful message while exposing lots of facts. However, some documentary photography requires composure before watching because some pictures show brutal things that could traumatize those watching.
Use the Right Camera
Using the right camera helps one to capture clear images. After taking pictures, one can document them in a book or post them on the web. However, one should take time to select the best photos and then decide what to do with them so as educate others.
The camera one uses determines the resolution of the pictures. Thus, it’s crucial to choose a camera with the best lens. Those taking photos for digital publishing can use a smartphone camera or a DSRL. However, those taking pictures for printing should shoot in RAW using a DSLR camera to achieve high-resolution images.
Documentary photography unfolds some of the most hidden things of the world. Hence, one should use a zoom lens that helps to capture a picture despite being at a far distance. Again, it would be best if one familiarized with the camera’s setting to ensure that they capture captivating photographs despite their locations.
How to Approach a Subject
Sometimes, one needs to approach a subject in a new environment, in or out of the country. Because it can be challenging for some communities to socialize with strangers, it would be best if one learned about them before approaching them. This way, one can develop strategies that create a friendly environment to avoid issues.
After this, one can travel to many places globally and take as many pictures for documentary photography. When taking photographs, ensure not to force the camera. Instead, allow it to move freely and take photos while preserving the natural context.
What About the Short List?
When taking pictures, a shortlist helps to capture photography and tell a story. It isn’t a must to show faces; instead, the picture should explain the event in a particular setting. A shortlist helps one concentrate on a specific location for a particular duration, use different camera angles, take different scenes and shoot various pictures. One should write these details down to avoid wasting time after choosing a location.
Pre-planning makes the entire process successful. This way, one can take pictures with different effects at different angles and make the images fascinating. Different colors also make the documentary photography reveal the characters better, show their dressing code, jewelry so that those watching this documentary photography can understand better.
Though some documentary photography reveals some dark truths, they help to unfold many hidden political, cultural, and historical events. Again, documentary photography helps the government or other involved parties to take action and mitigate things such as poverty and hunger. Those passionate about documentary photography can watch microdocumentaries in Baltimore to understand the world better. One can also get ideas on how to capture more captivating images.
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